Defining Fitness

What Being Fit Really Means, and How to Get It

In the world of the internet we are all looking for ways to improve ourselves and get fit.  You search the internet for fitness and what do you find?

You find the president’s council on fitness, food tracking services, local gyms, and national magazines; each similar and different.  No clear answer on fitness, elusive in its ability to mean so much and define so little.

What if you type in “define fitness”?

The condition of being physically fit and healthy.

Oh, so fitness means being fit, way to not really answer anything at all for us Webster.

Due to the fact that there is no set belief on what fitness really means, we have countless people trying to stake claim to it.  This has led to a sorted account of fitness and to me a misrepresentation of what it truly means.

The Fittest Man in The World (and Other Ridiculous Statements)

CrossFit has staked claim as having the fittest athletes in the world.  Yet I rarely see any of these athletes outside of CrossFit games playing a sport at a high level.

Where is Rich Froning on Sundays in the fall?

In this case, fitness is being defined as CrossFit.  Ergo, CrossFit = Fitness


Saying you have the fittest athletes is like saying I have the best theory, you may have great arguments and tons of anecdotal evidence, but it is still just a theory, there is no real proof.

This is because we have failed to define fitness

How CrossFit is Lying To You

Do you know David Storl?  If you don’t, I won’t be mad at you.  David is currently the best shot putter in the world today.  He has won Olympic Medals, World Championships and is still in his early 20’s.

He is the fittest shot putter in the world.

This is a concept that originally came into my mind from Dan John, as many things have, and it has stuck with me.

What would being able to do 50 kipping pullups do for David?  Would this make him “fitter”?  What if his shot distances went down?  Wouldn’t we say that he is less fit to throw shot?

Then how can you stake claim to the fittest athlete?

Eat my Fitness!

If Usian Bolt ran a marathon he would lose, badly, to the top athletes in that chosen arena.  Does this make him somehow less fit?  It sounds crazy when I say it like this, but it is how I frame fitness in my mind.

I want baseball players throwing

90+ and running sub 7 second 60’s

I want football players running mid 4 second 40s, jumping 35+ inches and having enough mass to deliver (and receive) contact.

I want a 14 year old kid to move well and move often in many ways freely.

This is fitness

My definition of fitness is:

Fitness: Having a requisite amount of physical abilities that allows you to do that which is most important to you.

Do you want to walk your dog every day for an hour: your fitness is defined by this ability.

Do you want to do 100 pushups and sprint a 100 meters and repeat 4 times: your fitness is defined by this ability.

Fitness is different for everyone, and at the same time, what you define as fitness isn’t. (Tweet it!)

I don’t judge a person for their desires and goals, they are theirs, I simply ask why?

Why do you want/need this ability?  If you can’t clearly define your why, is it really that important?

Defining Fitness To You

So this is my challenge to you.

Write down what fitness means to you.  Find the physical traits and abilities that will allow you to be a better athlete, father, mother, and person.  Ask yourself why these things are important to you, and know your why; this will feed your motivations while striving for better.

Once you have your definition of fitness, attack that, be the fittest person in your world, no one else’s.  This is the first step in finding fun in what you do and becoming fit for life.


If you enjoyed this article, share it somewhere with someone who could use it.  If you are really awesome, check out my newsletter.  If you are another level, share your idea of what fitness means in the comments section, just be sure you are fit to do so.

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